Plans For Nickelodeon Resort At Liberty Station Scrapped
Resort Was Scheduled To Open In 2010
6:30 AM, Jul 24, 2009
Plans for the first family friendly resort to break ground in San Diego in more than 50 years have been scrapped, 10News reported.A Nickelodeon-themed resort project at Liberty Station off of North Harbor Drive has become a victim of the economy.A 100,000-sq. ft. water park inside a hotel with 650 rooms, restaurants, slime and Spongebob Squarepants was the image for a proposed resort that was supposed to take center stage at Liberty Station and open in 2010 after a similar resort debuted in Orlando in 2005."It kept getting it pushed back, pushed back and pushed back," said Candice Waldon, the owner of Oggi's Pizza and Brewing Co. at Liberty station.Two years after the initial proposal, the $300 million project is now off the table.Liberty Station property managers said a developer from Denver -- who did not comment on the story -- could not afford to build the project any longer."Obviously, that was part of our business plan in picking this location and building our business here," said Waldon."We had a plan set up to use the pedestrian bridge in order to service the people at the hotel Yeah, we're really disappointed that's not going to happen now," said Waldon.The move will not only affect businesses like Waldon's but it will have an impact on the local tourism industry."It's not a shock at all," said Carl Winston, director of San Diego State University's Hospitality and Tourism Management program.Experts said the demand for lodging nationwide has dropped 20 percent; so many developers most likely did not want to take a gambled once the economic downturn began."I think the developer looked at their hand and figured we don't have a good enough set of cards here to win the pot. They threw their cards and walked away," said Winston.The developers who walked away left businesses worried about their own ventures.Today, the 18-acre complex is a long-term parking lot for Lindbergh Field passengers.Liberty Station project managers said they still want to see a hotel built in the area, but the problem is finding someone who is willing to invest.